ortho 6/7/19 – gtg tier 1


The word “endodontic” means inside the tooth. An endodontist is a dental specialist who deals with problems arising from the tissues inside the tooth. This tissue is called the dental pulp. A patient is usually referred to an endodontist because the pulp tissue has been damaged by decay, trauma or gum disease. An endodontist receives at least two additional years training after dental school. The endodontist’s primary aim is to save your teeth and minimize dental pain. Saving the tooth can usually be done through non-surgical root canal therapy. Your regular dentist may refer you to an endodontist. Or you may want to seek one yourself if you have persistent, swollen gums or toothaches, or if one of your teeth becomes discolored following trauma. If you wish, our office can refer you to a Board Certified highly qualified specialist to assist you, if your family dentist is unable to.

A root canal is the procedure done to remove dead or damaged pulp tissue from the inside of a tooth. Damage may be caused by severe decay, gum disease or trauma. You may be referred to a specially trained dentist, or endodontist, to do the procedure. Endodontists say that recent advances in technology have made root canal therapy faster and less uncomfortable for the patient, and that even the term “root canal” is a bit outdated. Today they call it endodontic therapy. The procedure works like this: First, the patient is given a local anesthetic like novocaine. The endodontist removes the damage tissue, then cleans the inside of the tooth and fills the space with another material. You may then be referred back to your regular dentist for the final restoration. The tooth may also have a cap, or crown, put on to protect it from fracture. More than 90% of the time this process is able to save a damaged tooth.

In the first half of this century, the most common cure for a persistent toothache was to pull the aching tooth. Now, endodontists and dentists are able to save decaying or damaged teeth in more than 90% of all cases. Many toothaches are caused by damage to the pulp, or soft tissues, inside the tooth. In most cases, the pain can be eliminated by endodontic therapy, what used to be called a root canal. The process is not as lengthy or as uncomfortable as it used to be. During the procedure the endodontist will remove the damaged pulp, then clean the inside of the canal and seal the space. If you’ve been told the damaged tooth has to come out or be extracted, ask about endodontic therapy. It’s also a good idea to seek out another dentist or endodontist for a second opinion before extraction.

The soft inner tissue of a tooth, or pulp, can become damaged in several different ways. If left untreated, deep decay can infect the pulp, causing pain and abscess formation. Sudden trauma to the tooth is a third way the pulp may begin deteriorating. If you are in an accident or hit in the teeth, the inside of your teeth may be affected. Damage may not be visible at first, so it’s a good idea to see a dentist as soon as you can after an injury to your teeth or your mouth. Some warning signs of pulp degeneration include an extremely painful toothache, and extra sensitivity to heat or cold. You may also have some pulp damage if the tooth becomes darker, or discolored.



A. Q&A is a special quarterly magazine supplement for dental patients to read before or after their appointments with the dentist or hygienist to help address questions about dental health and about types of treatment that may be performed or recommended during dental appointments.

Developed with the cooperation of dentists and hygienists from across the nation, Q&A has been published since October 1991. Each issue of Q&A features questions submitted by dental professionals who wish to participate in keeping their patients informed about and involved in their own dental care.


A. Toothpaste typically contains a detergent compound to penetrate and loosen deposits and stains on tooth surfaces so they can be more easily removed during tooth brushing. Toothpaste also contains cleaning and polishing agents to produce a smooth, shiny tooth surface that can inhibit the accumulation and retention of plaque. In addition, flavoring agents found in toothpaste can make the mouth and breath feel clean, and toothpastes containing fluoride can help strengthen the teeth’s hard outer layer — the enamel — to help prevent cavity formation. Some toothpastes have tartar-control properties to minimize tartar (mineralized plaque) build-up.
Others have special tooth-whitening properties. Some help reduce tooth sensitivity, and still others have anti-microbial properties

to help control the bacteria responsible for gum disease. Inform your dentist or hygienist of the toothpaste you
use so they can evaluate its effectiveness or make recommendations for changes based on your dental health.


When used regularly and correctly, dental floss or tape can effectively remove plaque that accumulates in the very narrow areas between the teeth, that is, the interdental areas, which usually cannot be reached by the bristles of a toothbrush. Some toothbrushes feature specially contoured bristles that can extend into the interdental areas, but flossing these areas and plaque accumulation and can help fight gum disease. Ask your dentist or hygienist about that type of floss or tape best suited for your needs and, if you need assistance, about that correct way to floss.



A. Gum disease — gingivitis and periodontitis — can be treated effectively, economically, and easily if detected in its early stages by your dentist or hygienist. Treatment involves close cooperation between you and your dentist or hygienist, and its success ultimately depends on your efforts. Your dentist or hygienist will recommend procedures you should follow at home such as regular brushing and flossing and may suggest the use of a mouthrinse and/or oral irrigator to help control plaque, the primary cause of the majority of gum diseases. Regular tooth cleanings at the dental office also can help control gum disease. In addition, depending on the severity of the disease, teeth may need to be treated below the gum line to remove plaque you can’t see and to produce a smooth surface to which plaque can’t stick. Because gum diseases vary by individual, dentists design specific plans for treating each case.


A. It is possible, under certain circumstances, to re-implant a permanent tooth that has been completely knocked out of its socket. Ask the dentist for emergency instructions as re-implantation has been found to be most successful if it is done within 30 minutes of the accident.


A. Yes. A chipped tooth can be repaired with a filling material that matches the color of the tooth and shaped to resemble the tooth before the chip occurred. This is a relatively new and simple procedure, and before the “composite” material was available, a chipped tooth could only be fixed by placing a cap over the entire tooth. Capping may still be the restoration of choice when a tooth has been severely damaged.


A. Depending on the child’s age and personality, he or she may be more willing to regularly brush if you make
a game out of brushing, brush with your child on a regular basis if he or she enjoys emulating grown-ups, or allow the child to select the toothbrush and toothpaste, which are available in colorful, entertaining varieties. Some children may respond well if toothpaste isn’t used or if you do the brushing for them while they are seated comfortably on your lap. Until children reach school age and are able to brush their teeth thoroughly on their own, adult participation is encouraged.


Wisdom teeth show wide variation in their size, development, and position in the jaw bone. They are usually evaluated once the jaw has reached its full development, typically when a person is between 15 to 22 years of age. During the evaluation, the dentist will check to see how many teeth are present in the jaw and whether there is enough space to accommodate the wisdom teeth. Some people never develop or are missing some wisdom teeth while others grow to maturity with the full complement of four. Your dentist may recommend removal of the wisdom teeth if there is insufficient space for them or if they are “impacted.”









ortho 6/4/19 – gtg








Early Treatment (Ages 7-10)
The American Association of Orthodontists suggests an initial orthodontic evaluation at age 7: Why?
Though an orthodontist can enhance a smile at any age, there is an optimal time period to begin treatment, as different problems are better treated at different ages. The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that the initial orthodontic evaluation should occur at the first sign of orthodontic problems or no later than age 7. At this early age, orthodontic treatment may not be necessary, but we can anticipate the most advantageous time to begin treatment. However, a short “Phase One” treatment is sometimes needed between ages 7-10 to help ensure healthy growth and development. At your child’s dental visits, your dentist should be able to tell you when the optimal time might be to see an orthodontist.

What makes this the optimal time for screening?
By the age of 7, the first adult molars have erupted, or come through the gums, establishing the bite of the back teeth. During this time, an orthodontist can evaluate front-to-back and side-to-side tooth relationships, as you bite and slide your teeth around. Also, the presence of erupting incisors (front teeth) can indicate possible overbite, open bite, crowding or overly-gummy smiles.

What is Phase One (early) Treatment?
Phase One treatment, if necessary, is usually initiated on children between the ages of 7 and 10. Phase One treatment usually lasts about 6-12 months. While the ultimate goal of orthodontic treatment with children is the elevation of self-esteem and self-confidence, the primary objective for Phase One treatment is to address significant skeletal problems to prevent them from becoming more severe. This is typically reserved for width discrepancies between the two jaws, bony asymmetries, or Class III growth tendency (the tendency for the lower jaw to outgrow the upper jaw).

Why screen by age 7?
The posterior bite is established when the first molars (permanent back teeth) erupt, or come up through the gums, around age six. At this time, the doctor can evaluate the relationship of both the front and back teeth, as well as discover any functional shifts that may occur when the jaws slide and the teeth come together. Because the incisors (front teeth) will be erupting around this age, certain problems like crowding, deep bites, open bites thumb or finger sucking habits, and some facial asymmetries can be detected early.

For some, a timely screening will lead to significant treatment benefits; for most, this initial screening will provide a guide for a long-term treatment plan.

The benefits of early treatment
For those patients who have clear indications for early intervention, early treatment presents the opportunity to:
• Influence jaw growth in a positive manner.
• Harmonize width of the dental arches.
• Improve eruption patterns.
• Lower risk of trauma to protruded upper incisors.
• Correct harmful oral habits.
• Improve aesthetics and self-esteem.
• Simplify and/or shorten treatment time for later corrective orthodontics.
• Reduce likelihood of impacted permanent teeth.
• Improve some speech problems.
• Preserve or gain space for erupting permanent teeth.

Numerous clinical research trials have demonstrated that untreated malocclusions (an improper bite) can result in a variety of problems. Crowded teeth are more difficult to properly brush and floss, which may contribute to tooth decay and/or gum disease. Protruding teeth are more susceptible to accidental chipping or being knocked out. Cross bites can result in unfavorable growth and uneven tooth wear. And, open bites can result in tongue-thrusting habits and speech impediments. Ultimately, orthodontic treatment does more than make a beautiful smile: it creates a healthy, functioning bite.

Adolescent Treatment:
The pre-teen and adolescent years represent an ideal time to firmly solidify that glowing smile! When all or almost all adult teeth have erupted, The doctor will be able to work to create the coolest smile in town! Even if you didn’t have a screening as a child, now is the perfect time to have an evaluation.

Who hasn’t seen their friends walking to class sporting their school or holiday colors across their teeth? These are not the painful, bulky braces your parents wore in the 1960’s or 1970’s! Today’s braces can be decorated with cool elastic colors, or be nearly invisible – the color of “ice”. Every smile is unique and spectacular, and you get to help the doctor decorate your smile exactly as you like. The doctor is committed to helping you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile that is truly remarkable and lasts a lifetime!

Adult Treatment:
Who is a good candidate for orthodontic treatment?
Were you the negligent teenager who refused to wear her retainer after orthodontic treatment or were you the one never allowed that glorious opportunity to sport a mouth full of metal down the school halls? Have you noticed that your teeth have continued to change as you’ve gotten older? Well, now is your time to bring back the healthy, beautiful smile!

Whether or not you’ve had braces before, you could be a good candidate for orthodontic treatment, if you have healthy gums and good bone structure around your teeth. And, the bonus is that these are not the painful, bulky metal braces of the 1960s and 1970s anymore. Today’s braces can be nearly invisible – the color of “ice”- or be completely clear, like Invisalign. You can also sport any color elastics on your braces to match your wardrobe, season, or sporting event. Why not start the road to a healthier, happier, smilier you today? After all, we are hoping you leave smiling with confidence!

Benefits of Orthodontic Treatment
A smile can be improved at any age. As a child, early orthodontic screening and treatment can lead to dramatic improvement in long-term oral health, as well as increased self-esteem and confidence. But, braces aren’t just for kids anymore. Adults, with healthy gums and bone structure, can also benefit from orthodontic treatment. We offer a variety of treatments that are designed for all age groups.

Orthodontic treatment as an adult can dramatically improve the health of your teeth and gums, as well as personal appearance and self-esteem. Crooked teeth and a bad bite can contribute to gum and bone loss, tooth decay, and abnormal wear of tooth enamel surfaces. Malocclusions, or bad bites, occur as a result of tooth misalignment or jaw discrepancies and can affect the way you smile, chew, clean your teeth or feel about your smile.

The doctor uses the latest technology in orthodontic techniques and appliances, including metal braces, clear braces, as well as clear aligners, like Invisalign®, which are primarily used for milder cases of tooth movement. He will work with you to choose the most appropriate appliance to fit your needs.

The doctor thoughtfully offers the following to his patients who seek results later in life:
• A separate Adult Treatment Room for patients who prefer privacy
• Clear brackets in addition to the traditional stainless
• Invisalign™ treatment for limited tooth movement and treatment of relapse.
• State of the art technology which means minimal discomfort during tooth alignment
• Retainer treatment for minor tooth movement
• Braces on upper or lower arch only (limited treatment goals)
Technically proficient and friendly orthodontic team


Diagnosis and treatment plan by an Invisalign®-trained orthodontist

We will give you an initial examination to determine if Invisalign® treatment is right for you. If it appears that Invisalign® is an option, we will take photographs, x-rays, and an impression of your teeth. The doctor will then complete further diagnostic analysis to verify that Invisalign® will work for you and create a treatment plan that will determine exactly how the teeth are straightened. At that time, we will be able to let you know if you qualify for orthodontic insurance benefits and the estimated cost and length of treatment. When the treatment plan is complete, your records will be sent to Invisalign® along with your the doctor’s instructions. Using the latest advances in 3-D computer technology, Invisalign® will translate the doctor’s instructions into a series of precisely customized aligners.

You will wear each set of aligners for about two weeks. Each set of aligners will gradually move your teeth closer and closer to the desired result. You will need to wear these aligners all the time except when you are eating, drinking, or cleaning your teeth.

No metal wires and brackets
Because there are no metal wires and brackets, Invisalign® is more comfortable than traditional braces. And because they are removable, eating, brushing and flossing are no problem. You can still enjoy your favorite foods, and smile without holding back. With Invisalign®, there’s nothing to hide.

Proven Results
In both clinical research and in orthodontic practices nationwide, Invisalign® has been proven effective at straightening teeth. The doctor’s Invisalign® treatment takes about the same length of time as traditional braces and is far more comfortable. Thousands of patients are taking advantage of this revolutionary treatment.

Convenient treatment at our office
Throughout treatment, we will arrange for check-up appointments about every six weeks to make sure that treatment is progressing as predicted. As treatment nears completion, we will design a retention plan to help you keep your smile for life.

Talk to the doctor today to see if Invisalign® is right for you
You can sleep knowing that your treatment is being diagnosed and monitored by the doctor, an Invisalign®-trained orthodontic specialist. We will even be able to finish your case with tooth whitening dentistry if you desire, to give you a gleaming, bright smile. If invisible braces i are what you are looking for, you’ve come to the right place.

“What is Invisalign®?”
Invisalign® is the invisible way to straighten your teeth without braces. Invisalign® uses a series of clear removable aligners to straighten your teeth without metal wires or brackets. Invisalign® has been proven effective in clinical research and we have used it successfully .

“How Does Invisalign® Work?”
I recommend you wear each set of aligners for about 2 weeks, removing them only to eat, drink, brush, and floss. As you replace each aligner with the next in the series, your teeth will move – little by little, week by week – until they have straightened to the final position I have prescribed. You’ll visit our orthodontics office about once every 6 weeks to ensure that your treatment is progressing as planned. Total treatment time averages 9-15 months and the average number of aligners worn during treatment is between 18 and 30, but both will vary from case to case.

“How Are Aligners Made?”
The aligners are made through a combination of our orthodontic expertise and 3-D computer imaging technology. Invisalign® is as close to invisible braces as you can get. Call today to find out if Invisalign® is right for you.

“Why should I consider Invisalign®?”
Invisalign® can help you get the great smile you’ve always wanted because it’s…

Invisible, so no one can tell you’re straightening your teeth. Now you can smile during treatment as well as after.
Removable, so you can eat and drink what you want while in treatment; plus brushing and flossing are no problem.
Comfortable, because it has no metal to cause mouth abrasions during treatment. And no metal and wires usually means you spend less time in our office getting adjustments.

Invisalign® Can Work for You
The doctor has found that a vast majority of adults and adolescents can be treated with Invisalign®. Invisalign® treats a wide variety of cases, including crowding, space closure, narrow arches, relapse, anterior intrusion, and limited treatment cases.
“How Do I Get Started?”
Getting started with treatment couldn’t be easier. In fact, you can be on your way to straighter teeth and a beautiful smile within weeks of visiting us.

Step 1: Visit Our Orthodontics Office
During this first step you will need to make an appointment with the doctor, an Invisalign® Certified Orthodontist. During the initial visit, the doctor will help you decide on your course of treatment. The doctor will take bite impressions of your teeth and send them, along with a set of precise instructions, to Invisalign®.

Step 2: Invisalign® Makes Your Aligners
Invisalign® uses advanced 3-D computer imaging technology to transform your bite impressions into a custom-made series of clear and removable aligners. There may be as many as 48 in the series or as few as 12, depending on your individual treatment plan.

Step 3: You Receive Your Aligners in a Few Weeks
During your next visit to the office, you will receive your first set aligners. The doctor will most likely give you a few additional sets for you to wear before you return for your next visit.

Step 4: You Wear Your Aligners
You’ll wear each set of aligners day and night for about 2 weeks, removing them only to eat, drink, brush, and floss. Total treatment time averages 9-15 months, but will vary from case to case. You’ll visit the office only about every 6 weeks to ensure that your treatment is progressing as planned.

Step 5: You’ve Finished The Treatment
Congratulations! When you’re finished wearing each aligner in the series, your treatment will be complete and you will have the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted.

Frequently Asked Questions

“How much does Invisalign® cost?”
As with other types of orthodontic treatment, the cost of Invisalign® is heavily dependent on the complexity of a patient’s case. However, the cost is generally more expensive than traditional braces. For more information about specific cost information, call our office.

Does insurance cover Invisalign®?
Because medical benefits differ significantly from policy to policy, each patient should review their coverage. However, we have found that if a patient has orthodontic coverage, Invisalign® should be covered to the same extent as conventional braces.

“How does Invisalign® effectively move teeth?”
Like brackets and archwires, Invisalign® Aligners move teeth through the appropriate placement of controlled force on the teeth. The principal difference is that Invisalign® not only controls forces, but also controls the timing of the force application. At each stage, only certain teeth are allowed to move, and these movements are determined by the orthodontic treatment plan for that particular stage. This results in an efficient force delivery system.

Will TMJ affect Invisalign® treatment?
TMJ refers to the temporomandibular, or jaw, joint. Individuals can have a number of problems with the jaw joint, some of which can be aggravated by appliances and treatments like Invisalign®. To find out if your TMJ problem will adversely impact dental treatment, consult your Invisalign®-certified doctor.


New Patients

How can I pay my monthly bill?
Will braces affect playing sports?
What are retainers and why will I have to wear one?
What is it like getting my braces on?
How can I eat right with braces to avoid breakage?
How do I keep my teeth clean with braces?

How can I pay my monthly bill?

We accept the following forms of payment:
Personal checks
MasterCard, VISA, Discover and American Express
You can pay your bill online, by phone, by mail, or in person. We can also set up an automatic debit from your credit card, checking or savings account.

Will braces affect playing sports?

You should be able to play just about any sport or activity you desire. However, it is recommended that you wear a mouth guard in contact sports or any sport where there is a risk of getting hit in the face.

What are retainers and why will I have to wear one?

Retainers help keep your teeth straight at the completion of treatment. If not worn as instructed, you teeth may shift back. Retainers are particularly important right after the braces are removed, during the time the teeth need to be stabilized. Retainers should be worn as instructed by the Orthodontist. If your retainer(s) become lost, damaged, or broken please contact the office immediately.

What is it like getting my braces on?

Braces are attached quickly and easily to your teeth with a strong adhesive. This appointment normally lasts around 1 ½ to 2 hours.

Braces may feel a little awkward at first and your teeth may be tender or sensitive to pressure. This is completely normal. Some discomfort and soreness are also normal but should go away within the first few days or even hours. Some patients choose to take over-the-counter pain relievers for the first day to lessen the discomfort. You can also do this before your appointment and as needed afterwards.

It is a good idea to wait several hours after getting braces before eating solid food. You may find it easier to eat soft foods for the first couple of days while you are becoming accustomed to eating with your new braces.

How can I eat right with braces to avoid breakage?

Braces may become loose and wires bent and/or broken as a result of eating certain foods. Any breakage could result in a disruption of your treatment and possibly extend the length of time required to finish your case. A well balanced diet is important to ensure a healthy environment for your teeth. You should avoid anything too hard, sticky or chewy. We also advise that you avoid any foods or drinks known to cause cavities. Consult your orthodontist with any specific food questions.

Foods to Avoid:

Beef jerky
Hard or sticky candy
Corn chips
Whole apples (sliced okay)
Soft drinks
Candy bars

How do I keep my teeth clean with braces?

It’s important to keep your teeth and gums healthy during treatment. This can be achieved by avoiding any food and drinks that are known to cause cavities. Patients should also brush, floss and rinse their mouth regularly between meals. Food can get easily caught in brackets and wires, so it’s important to brush and floss not only for healthy teeth but a clean smile. We also recommend you continue cleanings with your general dentist every 6 months.


We offer the full range of cosmetic dental services including contouring or minor shaping of teeth , whitening at home or in the office, bonding with tooth-colored filling materials, veneers, crowns, and bridges in all ceramic materials, custom-designed dentures and orthodontics.

The state of the art in lost tooth replacement is now implant-supported restorations. Implants are proving to be the longest-lasting restorations yet. Artificial tooth roots can support single teeth or full arches and can be removable or permanently cemented

The key to good oral health, to keep your smile healthy and beautiful is prevention. We will help you to develop a personalized home care routine, have regularly scheduled professional cleaning and exams, and provide the best, most effective home care products at the lowest possible price.

Pedodontics or children’s dentistry should be fun. Bring kids in as soon as they have teeth. Let them get used to the sights and sounds of the office before they have any problems. Get them on a good preventive program early. Remember, 90% of all dental problems from cavities to gum disease and even oral cancer can be prevented.

Gum disease is responsible for the most tooth loss after the age of 30. Many people are not even aware they have it. Nearly all adults have some form of gum disease. Periodontics is the branch of dentistry dealing with periodontitis or gum disease. We provide nonsurgical treatment for gum disease. The key to controlling periodontitis is excellent home care and frequent professional maintenance appointments. A home care regimen will be tailored to fit your needs. Advanced cases are referred to a specialist or periodontist.

When disease or injury damages the nerve inside a tooth, it becomes a candidate for a “root canal.” If there is severe pain, minor treatment is done to control the pain and infection. Then endodontics or the root canal procedure can be done painlessly in just one appointment.

We provide all contemporary restorative dentistry procedures. Both the traditional metallic and the newer nonmetallic restorations are available. Fillings can restore smaller cavities while larger ones require inlays, onlays, or crowns.

If you have lost some teeth, we offer prosthodontic replacements. Removable partial dentures are the most economical option. Fixed bridgework is cemented permanently and requires a larger investment. Implant-supported bridges or dentures provide the most secure and longest-lasting replacements but with a proportionally higher investment.

Oral surgery procedures are a part of our mix of services. Single or multiple extraction can be done and temporary partial or full dentures can be placed immediately. You never have to go without teeth. We have nitrous oxide “laughing gas” and can arrange IV sedation if desired. Complex procedures are referred to an oral-maxillofacial surgeon.

When teeth are crooked, crowded or spaced, they can be aligned with orthodontics. Braces can prevent or minimize developing problems in young children. Usually braces are delayed until all the permanent teeth are in. Many of our adult patients have braces to gain the straight smile they have always wanted. There is really no age limit for braces!



Eating with Braces

What can you eat? Let’s talk about what you shouldn’t eat! If you’ve been wanting to drop a few pounds, the first week wearing braces is just your chance! For the first day or so, stick to soft foods. Avoid tough meats, hard breads, and raw vegetables. Before long, you’ll be able to bite a cucumber again. But you’ll need to protect your orthodontic appliances when you eat for as long as you’re wearing braces.

Foods to Avoid
Chewy foods: bagels, hard rolls, licorice
Crunchy foods: popcorn, ice, chips
Sticky foods: caramels, gum
Hard foods: nuts, candy
Foods you have to bite into: corn on the cob, apples, carrots
Chewing on hard things (for example, pens, pencils or fingernails) can damage the braces. Damaged braces will cause treatment to take longer.

General Soreness
When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm salt water mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. If the tenderness is severe, take aspirin or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain. The lips, cheeks and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We’ll show you how! This is to be expected throughout treatment. Don’t worry! It’s normal. Teeth must loosen first so they can be moved. The teeth will again become rigidly fixed in their new – corrected – positions.

Care of Appliances
To successfully complete the treatment plan, the patient must work together with the orthodontist. The teeth and jaws can only move toward their corrected positions if the patient consistently wears the rubber bands, headgear or other appliances as prescribed. Damaged appliances lengthen the treatment time.

It’s more important than ever to brush and floss regularly when you have braces, so the teeth and gums are healthy after orthodontic treatment. Patients who do not keep their teeth clean may require more frequent visits to the dentist for a professional cleaning. Adults who have a history of gum disease should also see a periodontist during orthodontic treatment.

Retainer Instructions
Wear your retainers full time, until the doctor instructs otherwise.
Take your retainers out when eating…and always put retainers in their case! (Most appliances are lost in school lunch rooms or restaurants.)
Clean retainers thoroughly once a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste. Use warm but not hot water. Brushing retainers removes the plaque, and eliminates odors. Efferdent or other orthodontic appliance cleaners can be used, but do not take the place of brushing.
When retainers are not in your mouth they should ALWAYS be in a retainer case. Pets love to chew on them!
Initially, you may find it difficult to speak. Practice speaking, reading, or singing out loud to get used to them faster.
Retainers are breakable, so treat them with care. If retainers are lost or broken call us immediately.
If you have any questions or concerns about your retainers, or your retainers need adjusting, call us. Do not try to adjust them yourself.
Always bring your retainers to your appointments.
Retainer replacement is expensive…with proper care they will last for years!
Remove retainers when swimming.
Keep retainers away from hot water, hot car dashboards, pockets, the washing machine, and napkins.

Removable Expander Instructions
Wear your expander all the time. That means all day, during meals, and while sleeping.
Remove your expander only to brush your teeth. Brush your expander at least twice a day with a toothbrush and toothpaste.

Fixed Expander Instructions
Turn your expansion screws as instructed. Insert the key into the hole and turn toward the arrow.
If you are unable to keep your scheduled appointment, stop turning the expander.

If you play sports, it’s important that you consult us for special precautions. A protective mouthguard is advised for playing contact sports. In case of any accident involving the face, check your mouth and the appliances immediately. If teeth are loosened or the appliances damaged, phone at once for an appointment. In the meantime, treat your discomfort as you would treat any general soreness.

Loose Wire or Band
Don’t be alarmed if a wire or band comes loose. This happens occasionally. If wire protrudes and is irritating, use a blunt instrument (back of spoon or the eraser end of a pencil) and carefully, gently push the irritating wire under the archwire. Simply get it out of the way. If irritation to the lips or mouth continues, place wax or wet cotton on the wire to reduce the annoyance. Call our office as soon as possible for an appointment to check and repair the appliances. If any piece comes off, save it and bring it with you to the office.

Emergency Care
As a general rule, an emergency appointment may be made when there is severe pain, a loose band, a broken wire or something sticking out that you can’t take care of. It’s important to know the names of the parts of your appliances. It will help, when you phone the office, to be able to identify what part is broken or out of place.


ortho-5/14/19 – gtg





Early Orthodontic Treatment – Doesn’t Guarantee A Perfect Smile in Teen Years

At our orthodontic practice, we ran across an excellent article published in the Wall Street Journal “The 8-Year-Old With a Perfect Smile” that discusses the pros and cons of early orthodontic treatment. Sometimes parents are disappointed that their kids still require additional orthodontic treatment when permanent teeth erupt in their teens.
While that’s true in some cases, what many parents don’t realize is that for the most common orthodontic problems, early treatment is often not indicated and offers no guarantees against a second round of treatment in the early teenage years. Orthodontists are sometimes pressured to treat early—from both parents and kids for aesthetic reasons, rather than waiting till all the permanent teeth erupt to reduce overall time in braces and minimize expense.
The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that all kids be evaluated at the age of 7 to determine if they would benefit from early orthodontic treatment. We offer a complimentary new patient exam to determine if early treatment is indicated. If not, at no fee, we will continue to periodically monitor your child’s teeth and jaw development while developing a personal relationship with your child and our team to enhance the orthodontic experience when the time is right.
If you have a child seven years or older that has not been evaluated by an orthodontist, feel free to contact our office. You do not need a referral from your general dentist to schedule a complimentary evaluation. We look to working together with you and your family, creating smiles that last a lifetime.


Orthodontics is for Adults, too!

We have a lot of fun in our orthodontic office – with kids AND with adults! More and more adults are considering improving their smile and bite with orthodontics – which can include braces or more subtle approaches such as Invisalign and other active appliances. We recently found this article from WebMD.com that talks about orthodontics for adults – we think it is quite accurate and has a lot of information for adults to consider.

We always recommend that an adult is “cleared” with their general dentist prior to starting orthodontic treatment – sometimes there are periodontal or gum concerns as well as restorative needs to consider. We recommend seeing him BEFORE you get a lot of crown, bridge or other restorations, since often these are best done when orthodontic treatment is completed. He will work closely with your general dentist and periodontist to ensure that the timing is ideal for your orthodontic, restorative and periodontal needs. In addition, we feel we have a very special team and approach that sets us apart and provides an extra special measure of “care” and treatment. If in doubt, CHECK IT OUT!

Exam appointments are complimentary (free) and you will learn a lot about your oral health when you take the time for yourself and make an appointment. We even take a complimentary digital (low radiation) panographic Xray (and send it to your general dentist) as well as photos to enable the most comprehensive results possible during this appointment. You do not need a referral from your dentist or anybody else – if YOU want an exam, you just call and we’ll schedule it! Your first appointment can be the start of a new path toward a new smile! We look forward to meeting you and helping you create the smile of your dreams!


We have long suspected that people who smile a lot are happier, with better relationships, better “people” skills and they seem to feel better about themselves as well. Researchers determined in a study that those people with big smiles actually live longer as well! They looked at photos of 230 pro baseball players, analyzed and categorized their “smile intensity” and compared them with data related to longevity and determined that those who “smiled bigger” also lived longer (about 7 years longer)! We can’t help but smile as we work with great patients and create fabulous smiles every day. We like to think that, by helping our patients be more comfortable smiling more broadly and more often, we are also helping them live longer and happier lives. And 7 more years is definitely something to smile about!

Give us a call if you would like our team to help you improve your smile – we’re here for you!


Flossing Aids for Braces

Our team knows how important it is to brush after eating and to floss daily; with braces, things get a little bit more complicated! If you have braces, you have probably tried flossing using the little floss threaders, and pushing the end under the wire, pulling the floss through and flossing THE tooth – each one individually. This is cumbersome and many patients just give up after a few attempts. Well, we are happy to tell you that there a couple of new products out that will make flossing a breeze, and we want to tell you all about them!

The first flossing aid is called Platypus flossers www.platypusco.com. Similar to a regular pre-strung floss threader, it differs in that it has one very small “finger” that goes under the wire of the braces, and another regular, thicker one that goes behind the teeth. You can go here to see a description of how to use it: http://www.platypusco.com/how_to.html. We like this product because it is pre-loaded with floss and easy to use. Since it is pre-loaded, you have to use a new one each time. However, there is another product that might be even easier and more versatile . . .
Enter FlossFish, the newest flossing aid invention! http://www.flossfish.com/ Flossfish looks like a plastic needle threader, which is the end that you thread a piece of floss through. Then you hold the threaded floss and use the tip as an extra “finger” – guiding it under the bracket quickly and flossing each tooth as you move along. We like the design of this one because it can be used over and over again, since you load it with your own floss, its smaller and seems easy to use.

Our team wants to find out from YOU, those who wear braces and are our patients, which aid you prefer. We have samples of BOTH TYPES of flossing aids in our office; stop by and pick up a sample of each to try them out. Then, give us your opinion about which one is better for your situation. Be sure and give us your name and phone # so we can confirm you as a patient.


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Our greatest goal is to give your child the healthy, straight, beautiful smile you’ve always wanted. We understand choosing to receive orthodontic care is a big decision, and we respect your reasons for wanting to improve the way your child looks and feels. Our practice will work with your child every step of the way to make sure his or her orthodontic care is as comfortable, convenient and as rewarding as possible. We’ll use the latest technology, offering a variety of safe and gentle treatment options, giving your child the customized, individual care he or she deserves.

Every smile starts with a complimentary consultation!
Your complimentary consultation will give you the opportunity to meet our team. You also will learn more about orthodontics, receive an initial orthodontic exam, and find out which treatment options will best meet your child’s needs. During the complimentary consultation, we will:

Review your child’s dental and medical history forms and help you create a customized treatment plan.
Discuss all financial information, insurance options and various payment plans that we have available.
During your complimentary consultation, we will explain everything you need to know about your your child’s orthodontic treatment, so you can choose what’s best for him or her – no strings attached. If you’d like to schedule a complimentary consultation, please call our office.

What happens after the initial consultation?
If your child is dentally and mentally ready for orthodontics and you do choose for your child to receive orthodontic treatment, you will need to schedule the first appointment. At the first appointment, your child will have Orthodontic Diagnostic Records, which includes several x-rays, models of the teeth, intraoral photos and photos of his or her profile and frontal views so that we can analyze the best treatment option. Typically, this appointment is no longer than 50 minutes, and then your child will be on the way towards a new smile! After the Orthodontic Diagnostic Records appointment, you will need to schedule an appointment for about four weeks later for the Orthodontic Treatment Consultation, which is included in the cost of the Records. The next step is the placement of the braces when your child will be truly on the way to a new smile! That appointment usually lasts 2 1/2 hours. You are more than welcome to stay with your child, or if you prefer, you may leave to do whatever you’d like.

If your child is not yet ready for braces, we will let you know that. We will schedule to bring your child back for another Orthodontic Visual Examination when it is appropriate, again at no charge.

Scheduling Appointments
Visiting the orthodontist every 4-6 weeks is an important part of orthodontic treatment. Routine adjustments last between 20-40 minutes. Our practice will work with you to make sure appointments are set around your busy schedule. This way, your child will spend less time in the dental chair and more time enjoying the things he or she loves to do.

We understand that “life happens,” so if you’re running late please call to let us know, or if you need to reschedule, please let us know 24 hours in advance, and we will do everything we can to accommodate you. When you’re ready to schedule your first appointment, call our practice; we’re looking forward to working with you and your child!

Visiting the dentist during orthodontic treatment
It is very important your child continues to receive regular dental visits once every six months, even during orthodontic treatment, for teeth cleanings and routine dental checkups. We have a pediatric dentist and will be happy to take care of your child’s hygiene appointments and other dental needs. If you prefer, we will be happy to coordinate with your family dentist to make sure your child is receiving the best care possible.


How much does an orthodontic exam cost?
How much do braces cost?
Will my health insurance cover the cost of braces?
Can I go directly to an orthodontist, or does the dentist have to refer me?
How do I know if I really need braces?
Why should I see an orthodontic specialist?
How do I choose an orthodontist?
Am I too old for braces?
How long does orthodontic treatment take?
What are “lingual” braces?
What are clear braces? Are they more expensive?
Will I need to have any permanent teeth removed when I get braces?
Do I need to have surgery on my jaw bones?
What is TMJ?
Is it harder to clean your teeth if you are wearing braces?
Will I be able to floss my teeth after the braces are put on?
Does it hurt when you put the braces on or take them off?
Aren’t people with braces teased a lot?
What is a retainer?
What are impressions?
Why are so many young children in braces today?
Can I wear colors on my braces?
What is the proper age for a first visit?

How much does an orthodontic exam cost?
There is a charge for diagnostic records (dental molds, head and jaw x-rays and photographs) if they are necessary to determine your treatment needs. With this information, we can formulate an exact treatment plan and give you an exact fee.

How much do braces cost?
Our fees are based upon treatment time and the severity of the case. Because there is such a range, we cannot quote a fee without first examining a patient. We do try to provide payment options that are sufficiently flexible to accommodate most financial situations.

Will my health insurance cover the cost of braces?
Some dental insurance plans will assist with a portion of the fee. If you would like to call our office with your insurance information we will be happy to call your company and let you know what your policy covers.

Can I go directly to an orthodontist, or does the dentist have to refer me?
If you think you have an orthodontic problem, you may contact us directly. We do require that patients have a current dental cleaning before beginning orthodontic treatment.

How do I know if I really need braces?
Patients generally require orthodontic treatment for three different reasons. 1) They do not like the way their smile looks. 2) Their bite is incorrect and is putting extra pressure on the gums, teeth, and joints. 3) Their dentist needs to perform some restorative work and needs the teeth to be moved orthodontically beforehand.

Why should I see an orthodontic specialist?
Orthodontists have two years of highly specialized training above and beyond that of a general dentist in correcting jaw and bite irregularities. An orthodontic specialist does only orthodontics. Other types of dentists can legally offer braces to their patients, but lack the intensive training and specialized experience of an orthodontist. Just as we seek the opinions of medical specialists, such as cardiologists and dermatologists, for specific medical problems, it is important to choose the proper dental specialists for bite corrections.

How do I choose an orthodontist?
There are many factors you should consider when deciding on an orthodontic specialist. Since you will be visiting their office at regular intervals throughout treatment for an extended period of time, make sure that you choose an office where you feel comfortable. You should know what is involved with each aspect of your treatment before you start and should feel comfortable asking questions. We truly care about each and every patient and will make every effort to insure their comfort throughout treatment.

Am I too old for braces?
Teeth can be moved at any age. The oldest patients we have treated thus far were in their seventies.

How long does orthodontic treatment take?
The length of treatment varies from 3 months to 3 years depending on complexity. Before you start treatment, we will let you know the length of time your treatment should take.

What are “lingual” braces?
Lingual braces are braces placed on the inside of the teeth so they are not visible. We feel that lingual braces are not as effective as conventional braces and they are very hard on the tongue. For these reasons, we do not offer them. We do offer clear brackets, which are almost “invisible.”

What are clear braces? Are they more expensive?
The clear braces we use are of the highest quality porcelain material. They are just as effective as metal braces, but less visible. The clear braces are more fragile than the metal ones, but not so fragile that they break easily. There is an additional charge for porcelain braces and occasionally treatment with them does take longer.

Will I need to have any permanent teeth removed when I get braces?
We definitely prefer to treat patients without removing any permanent teeth if at all possible. However, if the teeth are excessively crowded and are protruding, removing teeth is an option. Typically, if extractions are needed, most orthodontists choose to extract two upper back teeth (bicuspids) and two lower back teeth (bicuspids) to relieve crowding and enhance the profile.

Do I need to have surgery on my jaw bones?
Surgery is necessary only when we find a very severe bite problem in a patient who is no longer growing. If either jaw is too large, too small, or too narrow, surgery is indicated.

What is TMJ?
TMJ stands for Temporomandibular Joint, which is the name of the jaw joint associated with chewing. We use splints and braces to relieve problems associated with the jaw joints.

Is it harder to clean your teeth if you are wearing braces?
Yes. It is normally more difficult to take care of your teeth because the braces are harder to clean around. We are committed to helping you take care of your teeth and will show you exactly how to clean around your braces at the appointment when we bond your braces. With proper technique, cleaning takes only a few minutes several times each day.

Will I be able to floss my teeth after the braces are put on?
Yes, our clinical technicians will you teach you how to floss your teeth properly with braces.

Does it hurt when you put the braces on or take them off?
It does not hurt to have the braces placed. We use a method called indirect bonding that maximizes patient comfort and minimizes chair time for the procedure. We use a special instrument to gently remove the braces and most patients report minimal discomfort with removal.

Aren’t people with braces teased a lot?
In this day and age, more and more people than ever before are wearing braces. Our patients include many adults with professional careers and children of all ages. They are generally very well accepted and we don’t feel that there is the stigma associated with them as there once was. In many classrooms today, as many children have braces as do not.

What is a retainer?
A retainer is a removable appliance that is fitted to your teeth to hold them in their new, corrected position after your braces are removed. We use retainers that, depending on the patient’s preference, are highly colorful with different designs or are made of clear plastic that are virtually invisible. Typically, retainers are worn full-time for several months and then are worn just at bedtime for as long as the patient wants his or her teeth to remain as perfect as they were when their braces were removed.

What are impressions?
Impressions of the teeth are taken to enable us to make a mold of the teeth, either for diagnosis or to construct an orthodontic appliance. Impressions are taken by filling a well- fitted metal tray with a pink substance called alginate that looks like frosting. The tray is then placed in the mouth for about a minute until the alginate starts to set. When the tray is removed, you can see dents or “impressions” of all your teeth. Later, in our lab we fill this tray with a special substance to make an exact model of your teeth.

Why are so many young children in braces today?
Our office generally initiates early, sometimes called interceptive, treatment in children who do not yet have all of their permanent teeth when doing so will enable us to utilize their growth to achieve a better long-term result. Not all children need interceptive treatment. Some common goals of early treatment include creating enough space for all of the permanent teeth to erupt, and correcting an imbalance in growth between the upper and lower jaws. Children who have had early treatment generally will need to wear braces again when all of their permanent teeth are in. This second phase of treatment with full braces is generally shorter and far easier than treatment would have been if the patient had not had the benefit of early intervention. More importantly, we are able to achieve the best end result for these children.

Can I wear colors on my braces?
The colors you see on braces are elastic ties used to attach the brackets to the archwire. They are usually changed at each visit. We offer a kaleidoscope of colors and allow our patients to select as many different colors as they would like. We have gray or clear ties for those desiring a more discreet look.

What is the proper age for a first visit?
The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that every child have an orthodontic screening by the age of seven. Even if treatment is not indicated at that age, this appointment will serve as a baseline from which we can monitor future growth and development.


What is it that you think of when you are confronted with the word braces? Do you think of teeth that need to be straightened or a mouth in need of some help? Can you imagine a kids new smile with the braces on? In the beginning when braces were new, the type of things used for the braces were only good for children to use. Things have definitely changed today. The braces do not apply to just children. Adults are now able and definitely willing to go the distance to correct their smile. Any age of person can get the smile they want.

Braces for adults are noted for those people who are eighteen and older. They are made for those adults that do not get the proper dental care and need to fix a dental problem. This may be teeth that need to be straightened, overbites, under bites, or any problem with the jaw bone that can not be left to get better on its own. Leaving some of the problems untreated will just make things worse.

Many of those adults that are coming in to get the braces are interested in getting the best oral care. They seem to e tired of the problems with their mouth and teeth. Most of them are searching for the cure to give them the smile they never had. Straight teeth and correct lining of the jaw is also a major factor.

Braces that are created for adults are not the same as those for teenagers and children. The braces made for adults are more durable and can withstand longer use. This is because an average adult will wear their braces for a year to three years depending on the problem they’re trying to fix. Once the braces are taken off, the person will usually wear a retainer to continue any further treatment. There is no time limit on the retainer being used.

You can not get braces without first going to see your dentist and getting fitted for them. You will be given a prescription and they will have to be created for your mouth. The fitting is to decide which of the many different types of braces that you may need. The type of things that the braces are designed with is different also. The braces are made to accomplish many things and each type is different. You will need the right type for your situation. Your best option is to contact a dentist to help in determining which type of adult braces is best for you. Having a regular checkup schedule at your dentist is great and you will also need to visit an orthodontist on a regular basis after the braces are in. You will be able to find a professional around your area.

Having a profession to check your mouth is very important before you have the braces put in because you may get the wrong braces that will not help your condition. If you are not really sure about what you need, your dentist can be the first step to finding out. They will be trained in the correct information to lead you in the right direction. You may want to get braces that can not be seen, metal braces, or may need a custom fit. Whatever you need in the way of braces is going to be expensive so you will need to consider the cost as well.


Braces are a metallic foreign body applying constant pressure on your teeth. This results in pressure symptoms other than those that result from rubbing against wires and brackets. You may have problems in biting and chewing during the first few days. When you get used to it, you won’t feel it anymore.

Long Term Use of Braces:
Hygiene must be maintained at all cost. You do not want the use of braces being compounded with dental cavities and gum infections. You should regularly rinse your mouth with warm saline. There is a problem resulting from rubbing. Dental wax and braces kit come to the rescue. You can buy five wax strips for less than two dollars.

Basic Survival of Braces:
Your desire for a beautiful smile has lead you to get braces applied to your teeth. As far as braces are concerned, their price is paid in the form of money you spend, the discomfort you bear and the extra time you need to spend in cleaning your teeth. Teeth with braces need more time for their care and cleaning than normal teeth and that’s why they need a braces kit.

Braces Kits make things easy!
For the extra care that is needed for teeth with braces, many braces kits are being marketed containing all the accessories needed to clean the teeth and maintain them in the perfect condition. Braces kits are handy to store and carry all the accessories needed for the care of teeth with braces. Braces kits are perfect to fit with even the busiest routines. You can carry braces kits along when you are traveling and you do not need much space to accommodate your accessories.


After the lengthy procedure of getting braces fitted onto your teeth, many people think this is the end and they become care free. Once braces are installed in your mouth, you have to use proper dental braces care. Things like the rubber bands of your braces becoming loose can cause improper alignment. Without braces, it was very simple to clean your teeth by just using a simple toothbrush. With braces it gets more complicated. There are many recognized problems in dental braces care. One of the big problems that arise due to braces is that no matter what you eat, something will get trapped in the metallic wires. If not cleaned properly, the food remains stuck it can cause plaque formation. This can be a very serious problem. It can get so bad that the plaque will cause cavities. It an also lead to gum disease. Gums can become swollen and infected.

With braces, you need to know what you can eat and what you can’t, which brush and toothpaste you need to use and how to floss. There are certain restrictions for the food you can eat. Some of the foods which you are not allowed to eat are:
Hard taco shells
Sticky and hard candy
Corn chips
Hard cookies or crackers
Sticky or hard chocolate
Hard fruits

Points While Using Dental Braces:
You have to swallow another hard pill and that is you have to bid farewell to carbonated beverages. The carbonic acid present in their fizz combined with the sugar which is likely to be left in the mouth will make a good environment for cavities.

New Technology Making Dental Braces Care Easier:
Dental brace care becomes easier if you have a new kind of appliance. that is clear braces. You can remove these braces and brush your teeth as well as the appliance. This is not possible with your ordinary appliance so the invisible appliance makes dental braces care easier.

How to Brush the Braces:
You will brush your teeth and braces properly only when you have a complete understanding of how importance it is to keep them clean at all times. There is a difference in cleaning and ‘keeping clean’. As far as teeth and braces are concerned, proper dental braces care demands that you keep them clean. If you let any germs remain either in the teeth or on the appliance it can prove damaging to your teeth. After you have done dental braces care, check with your special dental mirror that comes in dental braces care kits available in the market. Your dentist can guide you to as to which toothpaste should be used. Things are much simpler with invisible braces. Remove the appliance and take them out of your mouth. Brush your teeth as you did before you wore braces. Brush the braces, taking care not to damage them, and there you are! Ready to put them back in your clean mouth. You need to repeat this procedure with all meals and even smallest snacks so that food particles and germs together do not play their damaging role
in between your meals. Fewer snacks will make things easier.


Braces can seem intimidating whether you’re an adult or child, but orthodontic devices can be a permanent path to a healthy smile.

Studies have shown that more than 4 million Americans wear braces, and 25 percent of them are adults. While braces can improve your smile, a misaligned jaw or out-of-place teeth can lead to serious health complications.

The American Association of Orthodontists estimates that between 50 and 75 percent of the population in general could benefit from some form of orthodontic treatment. Very few of us are born with perfectly aligned teeth and jaws. Even those who were may suffer trauma that may require orthodontic care or may experience maturational changes, such as the crowding of lower bottom teeth. Orthodontic treatment is performed to help a patient develop a healthy bite.

A healthy bite means that the top teeth and bottom teeth meet each other properly. Getting a healthy bite may require only moving teeth, but often it requires alignment of jaws. A healthy bite allows an individual to have good function when biting, chewing and speaking.

Orthodontic treatment also contributes to oral health and overall physical health. Left untreated, improperly aligned teeth (malocclusions) and jaws can wear down tooth enamel and lead to dental problems including cavities, gum disease and tooth loss. Improperly aligned teeth are a breeding ground for plaque and bacteria, and crooked and crowded teeth make daily oral hygiene difficult. Properly aligned teeth are easier to clean and maintain.

Braces aren’t just for children. Adults are turning to orthodontists more than ever to correct their smiles, whether it’s a first time or for a tune-up.

Braces are simply one type of appliance — the formal name for a device used to move teeth, guide jaw growth or hold teeth in new positions — used in orthodontic treatment. The changes in orthodontic technology in the last several years are staggering. Orthodontic appliances today are generally less visible and work faster than appliances of a generation ago.

Braces are basically brackets and wires. Brackets are much smaller than they once were, and are glued to the fronts of teeth (called “direct bonding”) rather than the old way of encircling each tooth with a metal band, soldering the bracket to the band and tying the archwire to the band with thin, fine wires. Besides being smaller, today’s brackets can be made of a variety of materials: stainless steel, tooth-colored ceramic or gold-plated metal.

The wires are the component of braces that do the work of moving teeth. They have improved, too. Wires keep their strength a longer time. They apply a continuous, gentle force on teeth to move them. Because wires last longer, fewer visits to the orthodontist are necessary.

Braces fall into the “fixed” appliance category and are the most common appliance used to move teeth. Generally, standard stainless steel braces give the orthodontist the greatest amount of control to move a patient’s teeth.

Brackets can be placed behind the teeth (called lingual treatment — an option for more than 25 years, but improvements in the brackets and wires used make this form of treatment more comfortable for patients than it used to be).

One way wearers can individualize their look is with the tiny rubber bands called ligatures.Many young patients enjoy choosing from a rainbow of colors to match clothing, school colors or favorite sports teams colors. Adults often select clear or lightly colored ligatures that draw less attention to braces.

Another option is self-ligating brackets made of stainless steel or ceramic to hold the wire in place. Patients who choose ceramic brackets may also be able to use tooth-colored wires that now have longer staying power and don’t stretch out and lose their strength.

In addition to braces, a variety of other fixed appliances include palate expanders to widen the upper jaw, permanent retainers to hold teeth in place and appliances to control tongue thrusting (when the tongue repeatedly pushes against teeth, it can move the teeth out of place and cause the bone that holds teeth to be misshapen).

Clear aligners, which are made by at least seven companies, were introduced in 1999 by Align Technology/Invisalign.

The American Association of Orthodontists recommends that children have their first check-up with an orthodontist at the first recognition of an orthodontic problem, but no later than age 7.

We look forward to speaking with you about any or all of the treatment plans that we offer. They are sure to find the best fit for you and your family. Call for your Complimentary Consultation Today!


True orthodontic emergencies are very rare, but when they do occur we are available to you. As a general rule, you should call the office when you experience severe pain or when you have a painful appliance problem that you can’t take care of yourself. We’ll be able to schedule an appointment to resolve the problem.

You might be surprised to learn that you may be able to temporarily solve many problems yourself until you schedule an appointment with our office. When working with your appliances, you need to know the names of the parts of your appliances so you are able to identify what part is broken or out of place. After alleviating your discomfort, it is very important that you still call our office as soon as possible to schedule a time to repair the problem. Allowing your appliance to remain damaged for an extended period of time may result in disruptions in your treatment plan.

The following solutions may help you relieve your discomfort:
Poking Wire
Using a pencil eraser push the poking wire down or place wax on it to alleviate the discomfort.

Loose Bracket or Band
If a band or bracket comes off the tooth, save it and bring it to your next appointment. If your bracket is still attached to the wire, you should leave it in place and put wax on it if necessary to reduce irritation. If it isn’t causing discomfort, you do not need to remove it, just keep the area clean by swishing with water after meals.

Loose Wire
Using a tweezer try to place your wire back into place. If you do this and using wax does not help, as a last resort use a small fingernail clipper to clip the wire behind the last tooth to which it is securely fastened. If your discomfort continues, place wax on it and call our office.

Loose Appliance
If your appliance is poking you, place wax on the offending part of your appliance.

Headgear Does Not Fit
Sometimes headgear discomfort is caused by not wearing the headgear as instructed by your orthodontist. Please refer to the instructions provided. If the facebow is bent, please call our office for assistance. Surprisingly, the headgear may hurt less if it’s worn more, so be sure you’re getting in the prescribed hours.

General Soreness
When you get your braces on, you may feel general soreness in your mouth and teeth may be tender to biting pressures for three to five days. This can be relieved by rinsing your mouth with a warm saltwater mouthwash. Dissolve one teaspoonful of salt in 8 ounces of warm water, and rinse your mouth vigorously. Placing Orabase on the affected area may help; this can be found in your local pharmacy. If the tenderness is severe, take Aspirin or whatever you normally take for headache or similar pain.

The lips, cheeks, and tongue may also become irritated for one to two weeks as they toughen and become accustomed to the surface of the braces. You can put wax on the braces to lessen this. We’ll show you how!

Call our office during regular business hours if:

An appliance breaks
A piece of the appliance is loose
An appliance gets lost
Call your Orthodontist Right Away

Call day or night if:

A broken appliance prevents the mouth from opening or closing.
Pain from an appliance is still felt even after taking over-the-counter pain relievers.
A serious face or mouth injury occurs anywhere near an appliance or it causes the appliance to break.